Unmanned submarines, commonly referred to as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), are becoming increasingly accessible to the public. Because they require custom-made hardware and electronics, the cheapest ROVs used to cost about $10,000. Now, with open-source resources and off-the-shelf hardware, ROVs are cheaper, smaller, and easier to use. Several startups have begun developing their own underwater robots and are building low-cost parts to make ROVs more accessible.
ROVs are typically tethered to a mothership. Faster than human divers, ROVs can also reach parts of the ocean divers can’t. Using unmanned submarines to survey wreckage eliminates the risk of a human injuries in dangerous environments. Popular Mechanics says cheaper sonar, communication, and additional sensor technology will likely lead to a stream of affordable ROV in the next few years.
Below are videos from a couple underwater drone companies:
Via: Popular Mechanics.
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